Monday, August 24, 2015

I Have Great Kids

Yesterday was my birthday!
I wasn't looking forward to it, another year gone, another year older.  Body is not doing that well.  Nothing major, just seems to take a lot longer to recover from whatever I get!  In my mind I still feel like I'm in my 30's, but I look in a mirror and see an old woman staring back, I wonder what happened!
Yesterday I was feeling rather down, I have a slight summer cold, not really bad but headaches and a sore throat.  I decided that the best is to rest as much as possible.  I watched TV and read a bit.  Directed the kids in cleaning the living area.  David made party food and his own chicken dish.  He made a sauce of honey, mirin, sake and some spices, really nice balance of sweet and spice!  After dinner the kids gave me a lovely present and card.  The card said "Thank you for everything"  I was moved by this because many times I feel I don't do that much for the kids, more I have to rely on them because my Japanese is so bad!  The present is really wonderful, a digital photo frame.  I can put up to 2000 photos on it.  It's something that I have  wanted for the past couple of years.  I have a lot of photos of my hubby on the computer and it would be awful if I lost them because of the computer crashing or a virus.   I wasn't expecting anything at all for my birthday, just a day to relax so this was a really nice surprise.

Friday, August 21, 2015

A Few Days Holiday

We decided to take a few days holiday over the Obon holiday.   Most people travel to their relatives or have family visiting at this time.  So even if we want to teach most of the students are away.
I had great plans, but when the heat started most of them flew out the window. All I wanted to do was sit in the air conditioning!  But we did manage to get to the museum.  This museum (Kyushu National Museum) is about 40 minutes drive from here.  This summer the special exhibition was The British museum: A History of the World in 100 Objects.  Very interesting but very busy!

Walking towards the museum
The kids outside the museum

Exit of the exhibition

How to use the toilet!!!!!!
We also celebrated Davids birthday, but didn't get any photos from that.  He needed some trousers so we went to the recycle shop (David's idea!).  He got two pairs for 700yen, good price!  We had party food but no cake, I bought sushi instead, which David loves.

I decided that we should get out into nature.  So we drove up the mountain near here.  The drive was nice but then we got out and found that it was too hot and too many insects.  We walked around for a bit but decided that we prefer the air conditioner to the fresh air!

mountain walk, maybe autumn is better

Hannah and Mikey

Hannah making an offering of Christopher

Christopher and Hannah are back to school next week.  The summer holiday has been cut short by about one week!  But there is a typhoon coming this way, Christopher and Hannah are hoping for another day off!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Feeling Nostalgic

The past week or so has seen a real heatwave here in southern Japan.  Hot and humid, up to 38C one day last week.  I am confined to one room, no central air conditioning.  I didn't realise how much I miss being able to walk to the local shops or just walk with Christopher and the dog.  I can still do those things but I get so sick so easily in the heat.  I've already spent to much time at the doctors this year, no more!  So I've been spending hours on the computer.  But there are only so many blogs, newspapers and magazines to read until things feel the same. So I've spent ages sorting through some old photos.  We got our first digital camera in 2002, so I have loads of photos.  So many memories.  One thing that comes to mind is I always felt life was tough.  Dealing with schools that did nothing to protect or support my boys when they were bullied. That always makes me sad. The best time of their lives was ruined by inept teachers who always demanded that the victims change.  Also not having enough money was another worry.  If I had known that I would be a widow at 50 I would of done things differently!  Maybe!!!!

So a few photos from back then!

from 2005 Christopher, David and Hisao

Davids birthday 2005

David was looking at this photo and pointed out that the bookshelf is now in his room, the sofa, curtains and table are all the same!

maybe 2007, all the kids lined up

last trip to UK 2003
Hannah with Grandmas cat
Hannah was just one years old when we visited last time, now she is 13.  Got to go soon!

Saturday, August 8, 2015


I don't like any kind of insect.  Even the ones that might be considered pretty, like butterflies or ladybirds give me the creeps!  Other creatures that scamper around like snakes, frogs and small lizards don't bother me. They might surprise me but are not really scream worthy!
So summer is tough here.  So many insects to contend with.  A couple of years ago we had an infestation of stink bugs. These things were everywhere, especially on the screen doors. The trees out front looked like they were moving, there was that many!
The cicadas are so noisy. They drive me crazy with there constant chirping.  It sounds like there is an army of them but it is usually only one or two making so much noise.
But the insects that really freak me out are the cockroaches!  We have monster cockroaches in this house.  I go screaming out of the room and hold the door closed, leaving whoever is in the room to deal with them!  I got brave once and sprayed one.  It chased after me. I ran across the room, shouting "Mommy, Mommy"  That is the affect these things have on me! 
Last night was awful, we saw one the living room, managed to kill it. An hour later I went to brush my teeth and waiting in the bathroom were two more.   David got one, I got the other!  So I guees another good clean up is needed.  I haven't done under the bathroom sink for a while and when I looked last night I noticed ahole where the waste pipe goes out.  I am guessing that is one way they are getting in! 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

An Adventure, Sickness and Heat

A couple of weeks ago my friend invited me to visit.  I had to take the train to get to where were meeting.  No being a big fan of trains I took David with me. I thought he had some idea about  which train to get on and where to change.  But he didn't! Every train we took he would go and ask somebody if this was the train we needed.  The last part of the trip was on the Shinkansen!  My first time. The ride lasted all of five minutes!  But it was an experience!

Once we got to the right train station my plan was to take a taxi to the meeting point. But we exited the station on the wrong side.  So we had a little walk round and found our way to the meeting point.  By this time I was hot and my face felt burnt!  I told my friend that I couldn't see an taxis at the train station. David said "But Mom there were loads"  I could of killed him, why didn't he say something!

The following week I had a few days off from teaching.  I had great plans and then got sick.  I found a lump in my arm pit!  I was so worried but it turned out to be an infection.  I couldn't believe how awful I felt. No energy at all. Even watching TV took more energy than I had.  I am now on my 2nd course of antibiotics,  seems to be working.  I hope so because I do not want to go to the big hospital!
Poor Christopher also got sick. Painful neck and throat, high fever 38.5C.  He went to the doctors but within 24 hours he was okay.  To be young again.

And of course it is HOT.  Every day,all day.  According to the forecast this could be until next week.  I am house bound and not enjoying it at all.   When the weather is good I walk to the local shops and I have found that I am missing that.  Mikey takes me in the car but there is something nice about being able to walk.